We’ve all got one, haven’t we? One of those little quirks where you’ll be singing along to a song and start reciting a bit of another song because it reminds you of it – and you just can’t shake it.
Sometimes the similarity is totally obvious and everyone agrees with you, other times it seems to be unique to your ears. And sometimes, songs sound so like other tunes that things get heated and lawyers have to get into a room and work things out, whether the similarity is intentional or not.
We’ve looked at some songs that may not be identical, or even have that much in common, but in there somewhere is a striking similarity that we can’t get out of our heads. Do you agree?
- Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber and Cheryl
- Lana Del Rey and Radiohead
- Rita Ora and Five
- Kelly Clarkson and Beyoncé
- Harry Styles and Chicago
- Delta Goodrem and Arcade Fire
- Bruno Mars and The Police
- Ed Sheeran and Sia/TLC
- Britney Spears and Britney Spears
- Lady Gaga and Madonna
- Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars and the Gap Band
- Maroon 5 & Kendrick Lamar and DJ Snake & Justin Bieber
- Little Mix and GRL
- Rihanna and Pet Shop Boys
- Zayn and Drake
- Melanie C and Katy Perry
- Taylor Swift and One Direction
- Little Mix and Cyndi Lauper
- Got any more?
- The 10 Best Songs of 2019 (So Far)
- Anitta, “Rosa” feat. Prince Royce
- Cautious Clay, “Sidewinder”
- FKA twigs, “Cellophane”
- G-Eazy, Blueface, ALLBLACK & YG, “West Coast remix”
- Guaynaa, “Rebota”
- Jonas Brothers, “Sucker”
- Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus, “Old Town Road remix”
- Thank you!
- Lizzo, “Juice”
- Mark Ronson, “Late Night Feelings” feat. Lykke Li
- Rosalía & J Balvin, “Con Altura”
- The Story Behind Mark Ronson’s Hit Song ‘Uptown Funk’
- How “Uptown Funk” Became the Ultimate Wedding Song
- The Hit Songs Deconstructed Wire
- Peter Robinson’s review of the Official Singles Chart UK top 40
- 1 Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars
- 2 Wish You Were Mine – Philip George
- 3 Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
- 4 Up – Olly Murs ft Demi Lovato
- 5 Take Me to Church – Hozier
- 6 Blank Space – Taylor Swift
- 7 Promesses – Tchami ft Kaleem Taylor
- 8 Something I Need – Ben Haenow
- 9 Heroes (We Could Be) – Alesso ft Tove Lo
- 10 All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor
- 11 Real Love – Clean Bandit & Jess Glynne
- 12 Outside – Calvin Harris/Ellie Gouding
- 13 Like I Can – Sam Smith
- 14 Night Changes – One Direction
- 15 Wrapped Up – Olly Murs ft Travie McCoy
- 16 Bang Bang – Jessie J/Grande/Minaj
- 17 These Days – Take That
- 18 Budapest – George Ezra
- 19 I Loved You – Blonde ft Melissa Steel
- 20 Don’t – Ed Sheeran
- 21 Dangerous – David Guetta ft Sam Martin
- 22 Chandelier – Sia
- 23 Shake it Off – Taylor Swift
- 24 I’m Not the Only One – Sam Smith
- 25 Steal My Girl – One Direction
- 26 Blame it on Me – George Ezra
- 27 Stay With Me – Sam Smith
- 28 Only One – Kanye West ft Paul McCartney
- 29 Sing – Ed Sheeran
- 30 Rather Be – Clean Bandit ft Jess Glynne
- 31 Blame – Calvin Harris ft John Newman
- 32 Changing – Sigma ft Paloma Faith
- 33 7/11 – Beyoncé
- 34 Let it Go – Idina Menzel
- 35 Waves – Mr Probz
- 36 Hold Back the River – James Bay
- 37 All of Me – John Legend
- 38 Ghost – Ella Henderson
- 39 Cool Kids – Echosmith
- 40 Last All Night (Koala) – Oliver Heldens ft KStewart
- Composition and influencesEdit
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- Usage in media and remixesEdit
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Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber and Cheryl
When chart titans Ed and Justin dropped their new collaboration this month, some immediately noticed a similarity in the chorus with another chart-topper – Cheryl’s 2014 single I Don’t Care. It’s pretty undeniable, right? It’s not the first Ed single to bare a striking similarity to another hit either…
Lana Del Rey and Radiohead
Last year, Radiohead reportedly asked to be credited on Get Free from Lana’s Lust For Life album because of its similarities to their song Creep. Creep itself was once caught up in a legal battle over similarities to The Hollies’ 1972 hit The Air That I Breathe, resulting in writers Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood suing to receive co-writing credits and a percentage of the song’s royalties (are you keeping up?).
According to Lana, the lawsuit was eventually dropped, telling fans at a gig: “Now that my lawsuit’s over, I guess I can sing that song any time I want, right?”
Rita Ora and Five
Our close personal Twitter friend Lakaiya reckons Rita Ora’s I Will Never Let You Down and Five’s Keep On Movin’ sound very similar. Was Calvin Harris, who wrote Rita’s 2014 Number 1 a secret Five fan? We bet Abs was his favourite.
Kelly Clarkson and Beyoncé
Two amazing pop voices and two equally brilliant songs – Kelly’s Already Gone and Beyoncé’s Halo aren’t so much poppelgangers as your actual pop twins. Both from the bankable pen of OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, these two songs are great in their own way, but so similar they could stand in for one another at a party and nobody would notice. Beyoncé went Top 10 in 2009 with Halo. Kelly decided against a full release for Already Gone in the UK.
Harry Styles and Chicago
Here’s our pal Darren. Is he right?
@officialcharts Well, to my ears, the first vocal line on the latest Harry Styles single sounds very much like Hard to say I’m sorry by Chicago.
— Darren Moore (@LUgeek__) April 20, 2017
Delta Goodrem and Arcade Fire
Remember Delta’s Sitting On Top Of The World from back in 2012? (You may not, it didn’t chart in the UK.) Well, doesn’t it sound a little like Arcade Fire’s Rebellion from 2005? Delta’s song got some more attention in 2014 when a few people reckoned Kylie’s Into The Blue sounded a bit like it. Lots of oooh-ing, you see.
MORE: Arcade Fire’s hit songs and albums in the UK
Bruno Mars and The Police
We’re sure a good clean-living, wholesome boy like Bruno doesn’t have too many brushes with the law, but in this case one of his big hits, Locked Out Of Heaven, does sound quite like a couple of songs by British band the Police, who were, of course, led by Sting.
Roxanne, Don’t Stand So Close To Me and even Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic. When asked about it, Bruno said he was a fan of the band but it wasn’t intentional. Either way, Bruno Mars’ Locked Out Of Heaven was a hit, spending three weeks at Number 2 in 2012.
Ed Sheeran and Sia/TLC
Okay, how many times have you started prepping your best Sia impression only to realise it’s Shape of You that’s started up and not Cheap Thrills? 100? More? Us too. And if it’s giving you vibes of TLC’s 1999 hit No Scrubs, well, the song’s writers were added to the track’s credits two months after its release.
Anyway, Shape Of You was Number 1 for 13 weeks, Cheap Thrills spent four weeks at Number 2 and No Scrubs topped out at Number 3, so if the formula works, it works.
Britney Spears and Britney Spears
They’ve got a point, haven’t they?
@officialcharts @FideiSpears88 Britney Spears – Baby One More Time & Britney Spears Oops I Did It Again
— WELOVEBRITNEYSPEARS (@army_britneys) April 20, 2017
Same writer, though, you see – Swedish pop supremo Max Martin. But which song is the best? See where all of Britney’s songs and albums charted in the UK here
Lady Gaga and Madonna
Uh-oh, pick your corners – this is fan wars. Pretty much everyone remembers the mild stink caused when Gaga released Born This Way in 2011, the title track from her second album. Its message of motivation and self-belief was said to be reminiscent of Madonna’s 1989 hit Express Yourself.
Gaga at first said it was inspired by Madge’s song, then said it wasn’t, Madonna herself saw into the future and realised the best way to become immortalised in a GIF was to say the word “reductive” then sip some tea. Anyway, Madonna’s song got to Number 5 and Lady Gaga’s peaked at 3 – just to fuel the fire a little – and they do sound a little alike, and are both great, so well done both.
Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars and the Gap Band
Popstars are always influenced by other artists and Uptown Funk – a little-known, under-played tune you may not have hard of – certainly owed some of its swagger to the Gap Band’s classic song Oops Upside Your Head from 1980. Mark, Bruno and the other songwriters agreed and credited the older track’s writers.
Maroon 5 & Kendrick Lamar and DJ Snake & Justin Bieber
It’s all about the high-profile features! Two top tropical house tunes, each big hits, but with more than a passing similarity that’s not just about genre. Maroon 5’s Don’t Wanna Know, which reached Number 5 in 2016 has the “know-know-know” and Let Me Love You, which sent six weeks at Number 2 in early 2006 has the “nah-nah-nah” – sometimes that’s all you need.
Little Mix and GRL
One’s an empowering “we’re through the I’m over you” anthem with a rousing chorus that would get an entire dancefloor pogoing in seconds and… so is the other. Little Mix’s huge Shout Out to My Ex and GRL’s debut hit from 2014, Ugly Heart, share a certain vibe and would probably mix into each other very well as you danced in the club with someone else because your ex is a dog. So why not enjoy both?
Rihanna and Pet Shop Boys
What do you reckon about this one?
@officialcharts Unfaithful by Rihanna sounds like Pet Shop Boys song It’s A Sin.
— Adrian Wayne Reavill (@reavill_wayne) April 20, 2017
Both confessional, although the Pet Shop Boys are definitely feeling a lot less guilty about being bad to the bone than RiRi.
Zayn and Drake
When Zayn and Partynextdoor’s Still Got Time starts up, do you not – for just a second – think it might be Drake’s Passionfruit?
Melanie C and Katy Perry
We’ll tell anyone who’ll listen that Mel’s 2016 comeback Anymore and Katy’s 2016 comeback Chained to the Rhythm have similar elements. Sadly, the number of people who will actually listen to us say this is quite small – but seriously, as each song goes into its chorus, there is something there.
Taylor Swift and One Direction
Tay-Tay and 1D will be forever linked because of Haylor – the romance between Harry Styles and Taylor Swift that we all really need to get over. But haven’t you noticed how similar Style and Perfect are? They’re on similar themes and, if you think about it, Perfect could pretty much be the answer record to Style. A few mashups have surfaced online which prove that while they may not be twins, they’re certainly close cousins.
Little Mix and Cyndi Lauper
Cyndi’s 1984 smash Girls Just Want To Have Fun inspired a slew of hits across the 1980s and even into the ’90s, but you could still feel its influence 21 years into the future when Little Mix scored a Number 1 with the similarly empowering Black Magic.
Got any more?
Any favourite poppelgangers? Tell us below or on Facebook and Twitter.
The 10 Best Songs of 2019 (So Far)
Genre is dead; all hail the new masters of global, category-defying hits from artists old and new. In 2019, the singles have been creative and surprising, from the social-media-boosted country-trap chart success of Lil Nas X‘s “Old Town Road” to Latin-world collaborations that run the gamut of musical styles. There’s room for more traditional hip-hop and pop, too—welcome back, Jonas Brothers — but they’re joined by rising stars, like Lizzo, Rosalía and Cautious Clay, who have plenty to say in their own way.
Anitta, “Rosa” feat. Prince Royce
On her debut album Kisses, Anitta, Brazil’s biggest pop star, shows off her strengths as a trilingual artist—she sings in Spanish, Portuguese and English—capable of swinging from Brazil’s hard-charging baile funk to tender bossa nova. But it’s on “Rosa” that she most comes into her own: it’s a trap-pop track boosted by the appearance of bachata-R&B artist Prince Royce, on which Anitta makes the most of her alluring voice, singing in expressive Spanish that doesn’t need translation. With its moody synth layers and sensual duet structure, it’s a song that also successfully places traditional Latin rhythms in a fresh contemporary context. — Raisa Bruner
Cautious Clay, “Sidewinder”
“I don’t need it, I don’t want it,” Cautious Clay sings on “Sidewinder,” the first song on his excellent EP “Table of Context.” But while the Brooklyn singer-songwriter’s lyrics might be apathetic, his yearning vocal performance suggests otherwise. “Sidewinder” is a harrowing and apt representation of love in the digital age, in which desire is often concealed behind ambiguity and solitude. As Clay sings of sorrow, “closed hands” and “lost ties,” his elastic voice slips acrobatically between gravely lows and feathery highs, coalescing into one of the great earworms of the year. — Andrew R. Chow
FKA twigs, “Cellophane”
“Why don’t I do it for you?” wails the experimental British artist FKA twigs on the softly unsettling “Cellophane,” a song that lays heartbreak bare. Rendered in minimalist, twanging piano chords and tightly-wound vocals, it swings from breathy devastation to high notes of carefully controlled keening. Twigs has always walked the tightrope of electronic pop and off-kilter R&B; “Cellophane” marks one of her most emotionally-charged releases to date, a ballad that drips with raw-edged pain. It also marks her return after nearly three years of absence from music, foreshadowing a new openness in work to come. — R.B.
G-Eazy, Blueface, ALLBLACK & YG, “West Coast remix”
While California hip-hop has witnessed a fearsome revival over the last few years, its community was struck by tragedy when Nipsey Hussle, one of its titans and fiercest advocates, was shot dead in Crenshaw in March. “West Coast,” a posse cut featuring four of the state’s hungriest stars, is a show of resilience, a call to unity, and a strong indicator that this renaissance isn’t fading any time soon. YG, one of Nipsey’s close friends and a Blood affiliate, proudly rhymes next to the Crip-affiliate Blueface, who brings his signature squeaky absurdism. They are joined by two Bay Area traditionalists: the suave, pop-minded G-Eazy, and ALLBLACK, who hypercharges the track with freight train intensity. — A.R.C.
You wouldn’t accuse “Rebota” of being complex. Guaynaa, a rising Puerto Rican rapper, repeats the song’s title—which means “bounce” in Spanish—over and over, on top of a minimalistic reggaeton beat that barely uses any tonal instruments.
But “Rebota” succeeds wildly in its simple mission: to get bodies moving. The song distills reggaeton to its purest composite parts, with Guaynaa locking into an infectious flow and gliding over the complicated syllables with the ease of an Olympic skier. The song’s ruthless single-mindedness has earned it a co-sign from Bad Bunny and a cool 148 million views on YouTube. — A.R.C.
Jonas Brothers, “Sucker”
Brothers Nick, Joe and Kevin Jonas started off as Disney Channel stars in 2005. Fourteen years later—and six years after taking a temporary hiatus from their group status—they reunited with “Sucker,” the single that kicked off their new career era. “Sucker” is a sly, nimble slice of pop, all handclap beats and whistle breaks, with vocals from the three brothers coming in precise falsetto layers. The result is deeply infectious: “Sucker” is the Jonas Brothers’ first number-one single of their career, and serves as a reminder of the timeless appeal of old-school boy band style. — R.B.
Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus, “Old Town Road remix”
It seems too strange to be true: an unknown teenager, sleeping on his sister’s floor, whips the nation into a frenzy with a horse song, defeating Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran on the charts and throwing the supposed supremacy of long-established gatekeepers—from the Billboard charts to Nashville radio to major labels—into disarray.
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Lil Nas X didn’t get here through a random fluke, but through shrewd calculation. He fanned the flames of an online cowboy craze and boosted his reach with a social media fluency, a cunning sense of humor, and a perfectly-chosen saddle partner in Billy Ray Cyrus. And perhaps most importantly, he wrote the song’s undeniably monstrous hook, which is catchier than anything the big pop machine has churned out in recent memory. He’s a new kind of renegade on a new kind of frontier. — A.R.C.
Lizzo perfects the art of the self-love dance anthem on “Juice,” the lead single off of her funk-filled, uplifting album Cuz I Love You. With “Juice,” the soulful singer, rapper and flutist delivers one of the year’s most joyful, carefree tracks, a throwback tune that feels fresh thanks to Lizzo’s playful delivery and on-point lyrics. “Mirror, mirror on the wall, don’t say it, ’cause I know I’m cute,” she deadpans—turning that old fairy tale trope into an affirmation of confidence and independence. Lizzo has become an ambassador for everything from body positivity to genre-blending; it’s hard not to buy into her brand of bold bounce when it comes in “Juice” form. — R.B.
Mark Ronson, “Late Night Feelings” feat. Lykke Li
DJ and producer Mark Ronson is one of music’s more high-profile collaborators lately, contributing to the Oscar-winning “Shallow” from A Star Is Born with Lady Gaga and working with artists like Miley Cyrus on “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” and Dua Lipa on “Electricity.” (He is also one of the creators of the Bruno Mars smash hit “Uptown Funk.”) On “Late Night Feelings,” Ronson tapped the vocals of Swedish pop singer Lykke Li for a bittersweet dance track; where her sound naturally veers to the dark side, Ronson’s stays in the lane of bouncy jazz and funk. The resulting combination is refreshing and distinctive, Li’s voice floating lightly above his warm composition as she muses about relatable late-night doubts. — R.B.
Rosalía & J Balvin, “Con Altura”
The Spanish artist Rosalía has proved herself chameleonic during her swift ascent over the last year: she’s handled James Blake ballads, voluptuous dancehall anthems and mournful Justin Timberlake interpolations with equal aplomb. On “Con Altura,” she meets the reggaeton king J Balvin on his home turf, trading bars with him with an unflinching poise that borders on frigidity. “Con Altura” sounds like dembow, hip-hop and flamenco, with middle eastern influences sprinkled in. That is to say, it sounds like the future of global pop music. — A.R.C.
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Write to Raisa Bruner at [email protected]
The Story Behind Mark Ronson’s Hit Song ‘Uptown Funk’
TERRY GROSS, HOST:
This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. The song “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson was one of the biggest hits of the year. Today, we hear from Ronson as we continue our series of some of our favorite interviews of the year. Later, we’ll feature my interview with Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, co-creators of the Netflix comedy series “Master Of None.” “Uptown Funk” is featured on Mark Ronson’s album “Uptown Special,” but the lead vocal is by Bruno Mars, who co-wrote the song.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)
GROSS: Ronson is a musician, producer and DJ. He’s put out four albums under his own name and they all feature other artists singing the songs he co-wrote and produced. Ronson’s production work on the Amy Winehouse album “Back To Black” helped to make international hits out of her songs “Rehab” and “You Know I’m No Good.” Mark Ronson grew up in the music world. His stepfather is Mick Jones, the co-founder of the band Foreigner. He was born in London, but his family moved to New York when he was 8. He’s now a much sought-after producer and has done recordings with Adele, Paul McCartney, Ghostface Killah and Duran Duran. I spoke with Ronson in April just after “Uptown Funk” ended its 14-week run at the top of the Billboard Hot 100.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “UPTOWN FUNK”)
BRUNO MARS: (Singing) This hit, that ice cold Michelle Pfeiffer, that white gold, this one for them hood girls, them good girls, straight master pieces. Stylin’, wilin, livin’ in up in the city. Got chucks on with Saint Laurent. Gotta kiss myself I’m so pretty. I’m too hot, hot damn. Call the police and the fireman. I’m too hot, hot damn. Make a dragon want to retire man. I’m too hot, hot damn. Say my name, you know who I am. I’m too hot, hot damn. And my band about that money. Break it down. Girls hit your hallelujah, ooh. Girls hit your hallelujah, ooh. Girls hit your hallelujah, ooh. ‘Cause Uptown Funk gon’ give it to ya. ‘Cause Uptown Funk gon’ give it to ya. ‘Cause Uptown Funk gon’ give it to ya. Saturday night and we in the spot, don’t believe me just watch. Come on. Don’t believe me just watch. Don’t believe me just watch. Don’t believe me just watch. Don’t believe me just watch. Don’t believe me just watch. Hey, hey, hey, oh. Stop, wait a minute.
MARK RONSON: Thank you.
GROSS: So you’ve said that that started as a jam, but it’s so heavy with hooks. And it’s so kind of produced and filled with references to other recordings, so it seems so not like a jam (laughter).
RONSON: I think that…
RONSON: …that where it came from and the initial birth of it – it did come out of a jam at Bruno’s studio, you know? He was playing drums. And Jeff Bhasker, who co-produced the record with us, is on synths, and I was playing bass. And I think that that spirit, or at least the raucousness of maybe that, is in there. And then yeah, like, along the way, you fine tune it ’cause you’re thinking, like, OK, we need to now turn this into a song.
And then, also, when you’re doing something that doesn’t sound like anything else on the radio at the time, you almost need to, like, ironclad it to make sure it gets through, you know? You have to put these hooks in it, you know? You’ve got to make sure you got all that ear candy in it to get it through the gate.
GROSS: What does it mean to be a producer? I think a lot of people don’t really know. And what does it mean for you to be a – I mean, like, you’re a real hands-on producer, so what does it mean when you’re producing something?
RONSON: I think, you know, for me, whatever I need to slot into to make that music the best it can be or help the artists, or whoever I’m working with, achieve whatever vision they have in their head for a song.
So sometimes if I’m working with a rapper, like Ghostface Killah or Nas, producing usually means, in hip-hop, that you make the music. You make the beat, and you give it to them. And they write the rhymes. Then, you know, the other more-traditional role of the producer in, like, the kind of Quincy Jones sense is kind of part arranger. So you’re coming up with, like, these – you hear these songs that are quite bare-bones, and you dream up what’s the band doing? What’s the rhythm section doing? What’s the guitars, strings, pianos – that sort of thing. It’s almost like a little toolbox. You just pick up a little bit of whatever the ones you think are appropriate, and you try and, you know, combine them. And then you bring in other people that are great for the things that you’re not so good at.
So when I was working with Amy Winehouse on “Back To Black,” you know, she had all these beautiful songs, incredibly well-written and just her on an acoustic, nylon-string guitar. And she’d play them for me, and then I would kind of drum up my idea of what I thought – make a demo with what I thought the drums should be doing, the guitars – like, quite a crude demo. And then I’d play it for her. And if she liked it, we’d run with it. And then eventually, we got the Dap-Kings in to record, and that was that.
GROSS: Well, you mentioned Amy Winehouse. So let’s talk about the huge hit album that you had with her, “Back To Black.” I know you produced most but not all the tracks on that album. You produced “You Know I’m No Good,” right?
GROSS: Good. Let’s hear that one. And I’m choosing that because it’s a great recording, and also, the horns stand out so well on it. And that was all your doing – getting the Dap-Kings to perform with her. So why don’t we hear that, and then we’ll talk about it. So this is the late Amy Winehouse. The song is “You Know I’m No Good,” and it’s from her album “Back To Black” which was largely produced by my guest, Mark Ronson.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “YOU KNOW I’M NO GOOD”)
AMY WINEHOUSE: (Singing) Meet you downstairs in the bar and heard your rolled-up sleeves in your skull T-shirt. You said, what did you do with him today and sniffed me out like I was Tanqueray ’cause you’re my fellow, my guy. Hand me your Stella and fly. By the time I’m out the door, you tear me down like Roger Moore. I cheated myself like I knew I would. I told you I was trouble. You know that I’m no good. Upstairs in bed with my ex-boy…
GROSS: That was the late Amy Winehouse, her song “You Know I’m No Good.” That track was produced by my guest, Mark Ronson, who produced most of that album, “Back To Black,” which was a huge hit. So the way you were describing it, it sounds like she played you, maybe, a demo of the song. What did you hear in your mind, and how did you put that together for what became the final recording?
RONSON: Well, on this song, this is really one of the best examples of one of the songs that the Dap-Kings, you know, the musicians who played on this stuff, really brought to life. Because of the chords and the way Amy had played the song, I had always thought of it almost as, like, a kind of Latin, like, Samba. What is it? But it was originally like, (imitating rhythm), and that’s how I had the demo. And I kind of got in, and I just told the band – I was like, here’s my arrangement, but I’m not really feeling it. So why don’t you guys just, like, hit on a groove or how you would play this chord chart.
And Homer and Nick, the drummer and the bass player from the Dap-Kings, one of the most incredible rhythm sections – probably the most incredible rhythm section I’ve ever worked with – just came up with that (imitating rhythm), and that – it just instantly changed the song. And then Dave Guy and then Neal came up with that horn line. And that was when I really discovered the magic of the Dap-Kings and how, you know, very much like The Wrecking Crew in LA and, you know, The Funk Brothers, like, are a special group of musicians that really just bring you something that nobody else does.
GROSS: I think that baritone saxophone works so well because Amy Winehouse has such a deep voice. To have an instrument that’s going to be way beneath her, it just even adds more deepness (laughter) to the recording.
RONSON: Yeah, I agree. You know, that was the first time that I probably ever used a baritone sax. And it’s certainly the texture that, you know – it’s all over the record ’cause it’s a nice compliment to her tone.
GROSS: So how had you first heard the Dap-Kings? You must have heard them before deciding to bring them on for this album.
RONSON: Yeah. I had started to use – Dave Guy, the trumpet player, is an incredible musician. He came into the studio one day, and they had just cut a cover of “Sign, Seal, Deliver” for something with Sharon Jones, and I just was blown away by how they got that sonic. I mean, it was just so much the real deal.
And at the time, Amy and I was working on demos for “Back To Black,” and I was probably using, you know, like, whatever computer trick I could that – they have plug-ins, you know, for your computer that make things sound old or whatever it is. And I played Amy this recording of Sharon Jones, and I said, like, how good is this? We should get these guys to play these demos. And she’s like, yeah, yeah. She would say, like, it’s the nuts. If she thought something was really good, it was the nuts. So she said it was the nuts, and we got the whole band, not just the horn section.
GROSS: So how did you get to work with Amy Winehouse? How did – did she approach you? Were you matched up by someone else?
RONSON: Basically, there’s a good friend of mine who works at EMI Publishing, a publishing company. He had asked me – he was like, you know, do you know this girl, Amy Winehouse? She’s in New York for a day. She’s kind of meeting people to maybe work with on her second album. And I remember that about three years before that, her first record had come out. And I just remember really liking this one song off it called “In My Bed” and being a little bit enamored. This, you know, this young kind of Jewish girl from North London, you know, I have the same thing – from a Jewish family from North London – with this incredible voice. And so I said, yeah, I’ll meet her. And, you know, to be honest, it wasn’t, like, I was some big shot. Like at that point, you know, I was meeting with anybody that might want to work on music, you know ’cause you never know where chemistry’s going to come or your break or whatever it is.
So she came to my studio one day. And I was on Mercer Street – Mercer and Canal in downtown New York – and we hung out, talked about music, you know. She was so magnetic. And I guess her energy, like, I just instantly liked her. And I wanted to impress her basically. Like, I wanted to have a piece of music that would make her be like, wow, I want to work with this guy, you know, for lack of better words. And so I said, well, why don’t you go home back to the hotel and I’ll work on something tonight and see, you know, come back tomorrow and I’ll play you a little piece of music and see if you’re into it?
So she had played me all this stuff of the Shangri-La’s, and it was all this ’60s girl-group pop that she was into, and I was kind of inspired. And she came back, and I had, the next morning, the piano chords for “Back To Black” and the kind of little skeleton beat with a tambourine. And I just put a bunch of cheap reverb on it ’cause I thought, like, that’s what that sound was supposed to be like. And she really dug it. And that’s how we ended up – she ended up staying in New York another week. So we worked on, you know, the rest of the songs that she had.
GROSS: Was it odd for her – for you when she had the hit of “Rehab,” knowing that she really did have drug and alcohol problems, that rehab really was an issue in her life?
RONSON: I guess because at the point that I met her, she was pretty much sober and, you know, the most together she had been maybe, like, in years. So it was strange ’cause everyone was telling me these stories like, you know, oh, you’re working with Amy Winehouse? Oh, good luck. Like I heard she’s been working on this record for three years and blah, blah, blah. And I just had no idea what everyone was talking about ’cause she came into New York. She had these songs. She seemed to be creatively on fire. She wrote “Black To Black” and “Rehab” while we were there in the studio in, like, you know, kind of a matter of hours. And – so yeah, so she was good.
So when she was telling me this story about rehab, we were actually walking down the street. And she was saying, you know, there was this time like a couple years ago and I was in this dark place. And my family came over and some friends and they tried to make me go to rehab, and I was like no, no, no, and she put up her hand. And I just thought, like, that’s such a catchy, kind of turn of phrase. And, you know, should we go back and just maybe do you want to try and write a song with that? ‘Cause it just instantly sounded like a hook to me. So it very much sounded like something that had happened in her life and she had kind of moved past. So there was never kind of any weird like – yes, if she was like – if she had terrible problems and was drinking every day in the studio, there’s no way I would’ve said, like, oh, that’s a great idea for a song. But because it felt like something that she kind of, you know, just overcome, it didn’t seem like a bad idea.
GROSS: Why don’t we hear a little bit of that? And this is Amy Winehouse and the track is “Rehab.” It’s produced by my guest, Mark Ronson.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “REHAB”)
GROSS: That’s Amy Winehouse’s recording “Rehab,” produced by my guest, Mark Ronson, who also had this year’s big hit “Uptown Funk.” We’ll be back after a break. This is FRESH AIR.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GROSS: This is FRESH AIR, and if you’re just joining us, my guest is record producer and musician Mark Ronson and his latest album, which is called “Uptown Special,” has that huge number one hit “Uptown Funk” in which Bruno Mars is the guest star.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)
GROSS: So, Mark, you come from a really musical family. Your stepfather is Mick Jones, who was – who is the guitarist in the band Foreigner and wrote one of their biggest hits, “I Want To Know What Love Is.” So let’s just hear a few seconds of that song to refresh people’s memory.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “I WANT TO KNOW WHAT LOVE IS”)
FOREIGNER: (Singing) In my life there’s been heartache and pain. I don’t know if I can face it again. Can’t stop now, I’ve traveled so far to change this lonely life. I want to know what love is…
GROSS: So that’s Foreigner, a song written by my guest Mark Ronson’s stepfather, Mick Jones. So how old were you when that song was released?
RONSON: I think I was about maybe 10 years old. You know, that’s – he met my mom when I was about 7. And then we moved to New York. We were living in London at the time when she got married to him. And then he wrote that song for her. So it’s kind of amazing. I mean, my wife is always like – I don’t write lyrics. So I couldn’t, like, really technically write a song for anyone. I could write a very nice instrumental. So she always sort of gives me a hard time because it’s just such a ridiculously impossible standard to live up to, that your step-dad wrote that song for your mom. But yeah…
GROSS: You can understand how incomprehensible it is to me to have parents where (laughter) your stepfather wrote a song for your mother that becomes this, like, huge international hit. I can’t grasp what that would be like (laughter). Did you like the track when you were 10?
RONSON: Yeah, I think I did. I loved it then. I think I love it now. You know, I really love something about being around the recording studios – you know, like, those days in the ’80s they’d be, like, in the studio ’til 4, 5, 6 in the morning working on these songs. And sometimes, I’d be allowed to be hanging out in the studio, which I just loved kind of, like, being in the room with these big recording desks, with all these, like, buttons and knobs and watching the guys use them. Or sometimes, he’d come home – you know, I was getting up to go to school in the morning. He’d be coming home at the same time. And I’d – he’d play me, like, the most recent mix of the song from the studio and ask for my input.
And I don’t remember any of this happening. But he would always tell me that I’d be like – you know, in my little-English-schoolboy voice way – well, I remember that the bass was turned up slightly more on the mix from last week, and I thought that was good – or whatever. Like, there were some little things in there that he said that he came to, like, really enjoy my opinion or at least, like, my little comments on the songs. So I was kind of destined to probably be a studio rat.
GROSS: What has been the impact for you on your life and your career of having a really big hit again, “Uptown Funk?”
RONSON: You know, it’s weird. It’s – it hasn’t really changed my life in any kind of way that I can measure. I mean, it’s obviously such an insanely amazing thing. You know, none of my other records I’ve ever had before even broke into the top 100. You know, like, there’s songs like “Valerie” and “Bang Bang Bang” that I was so proud of. And, you know, the level of success that they had – if they were little cult hits meant that, you know, I could sellout Webster Hall or Williamsburg Musical Hall or the El Rey theater in LA. Like, that was having made it to me. So the thought of having a number one song in my own career, like, never even registered.
And music is kind of a – it’s like a finicky industry to be in of course. Like, tastes change. You’re hot one minute; you’re not – you know, I’ve been through it quite a few times, like, on both sides of it. And I guess the best thing about having a successful record like this is, like, I know I’m at least good for another five years, like, before everyone starts to like – all the haters start to come out again. And that’s really what it is. It’s like every time you have one of these, you’re sort of – your lease is renewed another five years. And that’s kind of great for me ’cause that’s all I really want to be doing still at this point, like just making records and getting to work with, like, artists that I think are exciting.
GROSS: Well, Mark Ronson, it’s been great to talk with you, thank you so much and congratulations.
RONSON: Thank you for having me, thank you.
GROSS: My interview with Mark Ronson was recorded in April. His single, “Uptown Funk,” featuring Bruno Mars, was one of this year’s biggest hits. One of the best new TV shows of the year, according to our TV critic David Bianculli, was “Master Of None.” We’ll hear from one of – we’ll hear from the co-creators Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang after a short break. This is FRESH AIR.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “UPTOWN FUNK”)
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
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How “Uptown Funk” Became the Ultimate Wedding Song
When you’re in your mid-to-late-twenties, you quickly learn how many weddings you can fit into a single summer. My wife and I lucked out this year; we only had three to go to, but over the next few years, I fully expect us to average about five or six a year. And don’t get me wrong, I love weddings, but so many of them in such a short period of time is a little draining, especially since the formula for them tends to be pretty repetitive.
Short ceremony. Cocktail hour. Dinner. Speeches. Dancing.
After a few of these, the music begins to stand out, too. It’s always more or less the same. Some Cha-Cha Slide. Some Spice Girls. Some “YMCA”. Some Journey. Some inappropriate 2000’s hip-hop that’s ironically cool again because of nostalgia. Some Bon Jovi. These are the songs enshrined in the sacred pantheon of wedding hits that DJs across America rely on. And the faces on this wedding Mount Rushmore rarely change. There’s a formula, people, and it works. Sure, a song can sneak in here and there, but it takes a truly special song to become a wedding classic.
In fact, the only song I’m aware of from the last 10 years that I KNOW will be played at every wedding I go to for the rest of my life, taking its place next to “Don’t Stop Believing” and “Get Low”, is Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” (featuring Bruno Mars, obviously).
The criteria to make it as a wedding song is pretty simple, even if it’s hard to actually pull off: everyone has to think it is FUN. Case in point: “Get Low” has been played at every wedding in the history of the world because there’s no one alive who doesn’t enjoy screaming “Aw ***** *****, mutha******” as loud as they can with their drunk Uncle Larry and laughing at Nana who doesn’t quite “get it.”
“Uptown Funk” has something for everyone.
It’s a great song to dance to. It’s got a bumpin’ horn section for those “I only like ‘real music’” people (in fact, I first heard the song when one of my friends getting a Ph.D. in trombone performance played it for me because he loved it). It’s performed by maybe the smoothest man in music right now, Bruno Mars, so it’s got a legit “cool” factor that’s hard to deny. And perhaps most importantly of all, the lyrics are unadulterated, unapologetic, unabashed cheese.
And you know what’s pretty fun? Showing off your sick (read: embarrassing) dance moves while singing cheesy, self-aware lyrics about how awesome you are. It’s a harder to NOT have fun with this song than it is to just give in and dig it. Check these lyrics out:
Stop, wait a minute
Fill my cup, put some liquor in it
Take a sip, sign a check
Julio, get the stretch!
Ride to Harlem, Hollywood
If we show up, we gon’ show out
Smoother than a fresh jar of Skippy
I’m too hot (hot damn)
Called a police and a fireman
I’m too hot (hot damn)
Make a dragon wanna retire man
I’m too hot (hot damn)
Say my name, you know who I am
I’m too hot (hot damn)
I’m bad ‘bout that money
Break it down
No self-respecting person seriously talks themselves up by saying that they’re smoother than Skippy and hot enough that they make dragons retire. That’s so lame. But it’s the cheese here that makes it so much damn fun. If you’re trying to write the next immortal wedding song, take notes.
You just have to be fun.
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The Hit Songs Deconstructed Wire
Released as the lead single from her highly anticipated album 1989, Shake It Off finds Taylor Swift completing her transformation into a mainstream Pop superstar, all together forgoing her Country roots. This article explores one of the song’s many key qualities – the nature of the storyline and lyrics.
Mark Ronson had his hand in many hits before he released Uptown Funk in November of 2014. He’d helped Amy Winehouse climb the charts with Rehab and produced Locked Out of Heaven for Bruno Mars, among many other tracks. The London-native is no stranger to the Hot 100. But Uptown Funk, an old-skool tip of the hat to the Funk, Dance, Hip Hop/Rap and R&B of the late 70s and early 80s, was his first #1 single under his own name.
Featuring Bruno Mars, the song debuted at #65 and danced all the way to the #1 spot in a matter of weeks. It became the first hit to stay in the top seat of three of Billboard’s charts for more than two months (Digital, Streaming, Radio), went on to become the longest-lived #1 of the 2010 decade, and repeated that sort of success internationally, hitting #1 on 30 charts worldwide and setting a new worldwide record for number of streams in a week with 15 million.
How’d he do it?
We explain it all in our Uptown Funk Deconstructed Report.
What follows are some of the key factors that launched Uptown Funk straight up town:
Mark Ronson has shown throughout his career the ability to borrow ideas from other eras and modernize them for today’s radio. The success of Amy Winehouse’s Neo-Soul smash Rehab is a prime example. With Uptown Funk, Ronson takes his love of old sounds one step further.
With the use of vintage instruments such as Linn drums and a Korg Trident synth, a funky “doh, doh, doh” vocal hook ala Atlantic Starr’s Freak-A-Ristic, James Brown natured “hey, hey, hey, OW” vocals and the rapped “up-town-funk you up” vocal ala The Gap Band’s Oops Upside Your Head, Uptown Funk pays homage to late 70s/early 80s Funk, R&B, Hip Hop/Rap and Dance that was the flavor of the day during the Carter and Reagan administrations. Ronson and company actually borrow so heavily from the Gap Band and Trinidad James, in fact, that they elected to share the spoils and gave them songwriting credits.
Another nod to old-skool Funk is that the listener is taken on a dynamic rollercoaster ride throughout the song, which creates a very engaging listening experience. A perfect example of this is the three-part breakdown/build/release flow that embodies the song’s chorus. Note however that this is not a “traditional” Pop chorus as is indicative of many of today’s hits.
You can access the full MTI section excerpt from our Uptown Funk Deconstructed Report as a free download by clicking here.
What really helps to put a song over the top is the inclusion of clever elements and WOW factors – Uptown Funk is chock-full of them. Some of the most notable include:
- The “girls hit your hallelujah”/“whoo” call and response within the chorus. The “whoo” also functions as an audience participation segment built directly into the song.
- The manner in which the song comes to an abrupt full stop after the intense chorus during the “stop, wait a minute” vocal at the onset of the second verse. This essentially functions to reset the song.
- The “doh, doh, doh” vocal-emulating bass line. It provides this key hook with increased power and impact.
- Vocal-flourish lyric accentuators including the kiss sound that follows the “gotta kiss myself I’m so pretty” line, and the whistle out to “Julio” to “get the stretch.”
These are just a few of the factors that made Uptown Funk a smash. The song is an infectious modernization of Funk from a producer with a clear love of the genre. With hooks, payoffs, dance grooves, catchy lyrics, and an ear for modern radio, it grabs the listener on multiple levels and refuses to let go.
For a comprehensive review of everything that contributed to the song’s success, be sure to read our Uptown Funk Deconstructed Report.
Hit Songs Deconstructed PRO subscribers can access the full report by clicking here. Not a PRO subscriber? to find out what a PRO subscription includes.
Next Sunday, the charts will have a new face, when the sparky Clara Amfo takes the reins on the Radio 1 chart show. She will breathe new life into the show, at a point when the chart must fight harder than ever to seem exciting.
The good news is that singles sales are high; gone are the days of Orson getting to No 1 with sales of 17,000, as they did in 2006 with No Tomorrow. By the end of 2013, single sales had increased for the fifth year running, and while total revenues from singles did drop by 15% in 2014, streaming – which now counts towards the charts – could help offset some of that drop.
While we can put to one side the idea that the charts are “rubbish these days” based on their content – a subjective claim that teens have heard from their parents for more than half a century – there’s a sense that even as the official charts slowly adapt to changing times, they could be losing the battle to stay relevant.
There are now some quite compelling alternative popularity barometers to the official singles chart, as released every Sunday at 7pm by the Official Charts Company. Spotify’s charts show what people are choosing to listen to right now, and the chart provided by song-recognition service Shazam gives an accurate glimpse of what people will want to hear in the future.
Most problematic of all is iTunes. More than 99% of UK singles sales are digital, and the vast majority are through iTunes, which updates its Top 200 throughout the day, every day. New releases go on sale in the early hours of Sunday morning, meaning that anyone with an interest in the more statistical side of pop consumption can have a pretty good idea of what next week’s No 1 will be before last week’s biggest seller has even been announced.
No wonder the Official Charts Company now offers its own spoilers, with the once closely guarded midweek chart being revealed with its own mini-countdown on a Wednesday afternoon. This week, for example, we know that Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk is likely to stay at No 1, having sold 25,000 copies more than the No 2. And thanks to the way it includes streaming and physical data, the official chart can still be the source of some suspense – in the week before Christmas, when Ben Haenow and Mark Ronson had both spent time at No 1 on iTunes, the official Christmas No 1 was unknown right up until it was announced.
But streaming throws up its own problems. Its inclusion in the chart was a step in the right direction, but data is currently limited to services such as Spotify. Speak to most teenagers about how they consume music and they’ll tell you it’s via YouTube, which means the charts – traditionally the barometer of teen taste – don’t completely take account of the people who listen to the most new music. Certain genres have always fallen foul of chart compilation etiquette, and as we move forward, there will continue to be anomalies. Last year, Fleur East’s Uptown Funk cover was the most popular song in the UK for the best part of a week, but because the retail data for X Factor performances is not supplied to the Official Charts Company, that wasn’t reflected in the top 40.
But while the charts may be frequently unreliable, for the time being, they’re the best overall snapshot we get of what’s happening. So what is happening?
Look at this week’s top 40 and some trends are easy to pinpoint. The X Factor looms large, not just as a petri dish for new artists (seven of this week’s hits come from X Factor graduates) but as a showcase for new releases, with acts such as John Legend and Take That having used the show to boost sales of their own singles. Independent labels count for just one chart entry (Philip George’s Wish You Were Mine, on 3 Beat, at No 2).
Elsewhere, more than a quarter of the top 40 falls within the “serious music by serious young men” bracket – suggesting guitar music isn’t dead, it’s just no longer taking the form of rock – and another quarter is club-based. Almost half the songs in the top 20 are collaborations, thanks in part to Radio 1’s obsession with the UK “featuring” scene – a vast network of collaborating producers, writers and featured vocalists. And the collaboration obsession is global – best summarised by multi-artist pileup Bang Bang, on which Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande and Jessie J each attempt to perform each other off the record, in a successful bid to shore up Jessie J’s faltering sales.
More than a third of the songs on this week’s chart have spent more than half a year on the chart. January is always a slow month: big-hitting songs from the heavily promoted Christmas period are hanging around, while new releases are thin on the ground. But in the modern era almost every month is slow. Furthermore, the addition of streaming data has exacerbated the longtail effect on the top 40, since digital retailers have no shelf-space issues or bargain bin, and never have to delete or repress music.
It seems fair to assume that iTunes’s streaming service – the arrival of which seems to be a case of when, not if – will change the chart landscape yet again. For the Official Charts Company, the struggle moving forward will be to stay on top not just of shifting consumption patterns, but also the business decisions made by monolithic technology companies.
• This article was amended on 19 January 2015. An earlier version said X-Factor performances were not eligible for the charts. That is not the case: they are not included because retail data for those recordings is not supplied to the Official Charts Company.
Peter Robinson’s review of the Official Singles Chart UK top 40
1 Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars
It’s recently been observed that this sounds like The Really Wild Show theme. That’s extremely unfair – it sounds like songs by Sheila E, Was (Not Was), Prince, Michael Jackson and the Gap Band as well.
2 Wish You Were Mine – Philip George
Phil will probably wish more of the royalties from this song were his when he has to chuck a load of cash at Stevie Wonder, whose My Cherie Amour is sampled here with an almost heroic lack of creativity.
3 Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
A song about anticipating one’s emotions when 70 years old, thereby appealing to anyone under 70. A song about remembering one’s 70th birthday would not have sold as well. Sounds a bit like Let’s Get It On.
4 Up – Olly Murs ft Demi Lovato
After The Vamps and Cher Lloyd, Murs is the third UK act in 12 months to team up with Lovato. Sadly, there is no way of predicting where the song-dominating warbler will strike next, so please be vigilant.
5 Take Me to Church – Hozier
You could have conceived and given birth to a baby in the time it’s taken this fiery soul banger to scale the charts (and it’s still climbing). If that had happened to Hozier, he would have been a bit of a Hozier father.
6 Blank Space – Taylor Swift
For well-documented reasons, this is one of only two top 40 hits this week not to benefit from any streaming data. The other is also by Taylor Swift. (And the lyric is “long list of ex-lovers”, not “lonely Starbucks lovers”.)
7 Promesses – Tchami ft Kaleem Taylor
Imagine how much better this perky dance number would have sold if its absurdly spelt title hadn’t made it almost impossible to search for on iTunes.
8 Something I Need – Ben Haenow
2014’s X Factor winner. Writer Ryan Tedder had previously released it with his band OneRepublic, getting to a rather less impressive No 78, thus highlighting the power of a Louis Walsh endorsement.
9 Heroes (We Could Be) – Alesso ft Tove Lo
EDM bangers like this already sound rather passe but Alesso is ploughing ahead regardless, with Swedish superstar Tove Lo phoning in a suitably perfunctory topline.
10 All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor
Her next single, Lips Are Movin’, is out on Sunday and sounds almost identical, except worse.
11 Real Love – Clean Bandit & Jess Glynne
For Clean Bandit’s second 2014 collaboration with Jess Glynne, Glynne was upgraded from a Ft to an ampersand. There is no higher accolade in the collaboration world.
12 Outside – Calvin Harris/Ellie Gouding
Although we say there’s no higher accolade in the the collaboration world than the ampersand, it is possible the slash is an even greater compliment. Though on Vevo, Harris only credits Goulding with a Ft. The rotter.
13 Like I Can – Sam Smith
The fifth single from Smith’s In the Lonely Hour album includes the line “love you like I can can can”, but at the time of writing has yet to prompt an online mashup featuring the can-can.
14 Night Changes – One Direction
Night Changes went right for the pre-Christmas ballad jugular. The video features Niall Horan playing Monopoly and setting himself on fire.
15 Wrapped Up – Olly Murs ft Travie McCoy
Travie has released songs with Cobra Starship, Taio Cruz, Bruno Mars, Stooshe and the Saturdays, but to date the choosy warbler’s biggest UK solo hit is top 115 smash We’ll Be Alright.
16 Bang Bang – Jessie J/Grande/Minaj
The fact that two of the planet’s biggest artists were parachuted in to relaunch Jessie’s career with this brassy shout-off provides a tantalising glimpse into record label confidence in Jessie J’s solo appeal.
17 These Days – Take That
The French are largely responsible for this song’s success; the tune itself sounds like Get Lucky at a wedding disco, while the video strongly hommages (rips off) Stromae’s clip for Tous les Mêmes.
18 Budapest – George Ezra
Ezrafact: this jaunty number is the only song in this week’s top 40 to include the word “artefact” in its lyrics.
19 I Loved You – Blonde ft Melissa Steel
Good news: this turbo-charged club anthem is Bradford-born newcomer Melissa Steel’s fourth hit in six months. Bad news: the hits have all been collaborations, which will make for a messy discography.
20 Don’t – Ed Sheeran
Don’t is about Ed’s ex-girlfriend cheating on him. It’s strongly rumoured that both other parties are also in this week’s top 40 (hint: it’s not Paul McCartney and Nicki Minaj). Sounds a bit like Nivea’s Don’t Mess With My Man.
21 Dangerous – David Guetta ft Sam Martin
A surprisingly downtempo comeback single for Guetta – though one of the remixes, the David Guetta Banging Remix, is in no danger of prompting an investigation under the Sale of Goods Act 1979.
22 Chandelier – Sia
An epic song about swinging from chandeliers, by a singer-songwriter (Sia) who once babysat a girl who also became a singer (Australia’s Holiday Sidewinder) who recently collaborated with a celebrated lightfitting grabber (Adam Ant). It would be nice to think it was all planned.
23 Shake it Off – Taylor Swift
You have to admire the audacity of releasing a song about dealing with haters, when one happens to be one of the least-hated artists in the pop cosmos. (It’s worth noting that this has A. Sick. Beat.)
24 I’m Not the Only One – Sam Smith
This efficient ballad sold almost half a million copies in the UK and just as many in the US, but in 10 years it will be the entry on Smith’s greatest hits most likely to prompt the response: “Was this a hit? I’m not sure I could hum it.”
25 Steal My Girl – One Direction
Steal My Girl offers the most joyous opening two seconds of any song, although a song moaning about someone trying to steal a 1D member’s girl is a bit rich given the song at No 20.
26 Blame it on Me – George Ezra
Things to blame on George Ezra in 2015 will include men with conspicuously tidy hair and people singing like a Harry Enfield approximation of a skiffle act.
27 Stay With Me – Sam Smith
The boo-huberballad that propelled Sam Smith to superstar status on both sides of the Atlantic, selling 6m copies worldwide and bagging three Grammy nominations. But can you dance to it? No.
28 Only One – Kanye West ft Paul McCartney
Despite its modest chart success, this tune has, at least, seen Paul McCartney back on the playlist at Radio 1, the UK’s No 1 youth radio station.
29 Sing – Ed Sheeran
The moment when certain people in countries such as the UK, New Zealand and Israel – all of whom took it to No 1 – said: “Hang on, maybe Ed’s not a bonafide borelord after all.” Sounds a bit like the Doobie Brothers’ Long Train Running.
30 Rather Be – Clean Bandit ft Jess Glynne
The current top 40’s only million-seller, this almost offensively likeable strings’n’singing bonanza has racked up 208m YouTube views in 12 months. Yet still people are Shazamming it, and indeed buying it.
31 Blame – Calvin Harris ft John Newman
This Calvin Harrisesque Calvin Harris single broke Spotify records, topping 10m global streams in a week. That’s one for every man, woman and child featured as a guest vocalist on Calvin’s album.
32 Changing – Sigma ft Paloma Faith
Sigma’s previous hit, Nobody to Love, was voiced by a member of One True Voice; Paloma Faith was wheeled out for this sync-friendly banger. It’s certainly hard to second guess Sigma’s contacts book, but imagine the dinner parties.
33 7/11 – Beyoncé
Not exactly a song to set hearts aflutter with its melodic richness, but 7/11 did a decent job of promoting the disappointingly mundane reissue of Beyoncé’s internet-breaking 2013 album, Beyoncé.
34 Let it Go – Idina Menzel
The second best song from Frozen. The “proper” single version of this – performed by Demi Lovato – is regarded as vastly inferior by children as young as two.
35 Waves – Mr Probz
The fourth biggest-selling single of 2014 was recently subjected to a makeover – which one might most charitably describe as “wholly unnecessary” – featuring Chris Brown and TI.
36 Hold Back the River – James Bay
The 2015’s Brits critics choice winner, who has benefited from a level of support from Radio 1 so intense it borders on harassment.
37 All of Me – John Legend
This song, a firm and serious statement of unconditional love and all-encompassing devotion, is a lot funnier if you imagine it sent as a text message five minutes after a first date.
38 Ghost – Ella Henderson
A song about going down to the river to pray. In a 2014 interview, Henderson admitted that she had never been to a river to pray – but had been to the Thames for a bit of a think.
39 Cool Kids – Echosmith
Cool Kids has sold more than a million copies in the US and achieved modest UK success last month, mainly by sounding enough like Taylor Swift to position the band in her slipstream.
40 Last All Night (Koala) – Oliver Heldens ft KStewart
Koala started as an instrumental but this vocal version, featuring hotly tipped 19-year-old KStewart, is much better. Think how much time those absent three letters will save Kate Stewart – for it is she – when signing autographs.
When singer Bruno Mars and producer Mark Ronson first landed on the instrumental track and a few lines of what would become the hit song “Uptown Funk,” Ronson says the room was filled with electricity.
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“There’s nothing more exciting than that period of the song, because the potential is unlimited,” Ronson tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross.
But then the process turned long and labored for the co-writers. Mars, Ronson and Jeff Bhasker would meet up in Los Angeles or London or Memphis and work on it, but the energy wasn’t the same.
“You can never get that spirit back,” Ronson says. “You try to write another verse, and it seems forced, because the first one was so natural.”
In fact, there was a moment where Ronson says they thought, “Maybe this song wasn’t meant to be.” But Ronson, who also plays guitar in the song, says he knew there was potential, so he kept fighting for it.
The song, on the album Uptown Special, just ended its 14-week run at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Ronson has put out four albums under his own name, and they all feature other artists singing the songs he co-wrote and produced.
Ronson has also had a hand in other hits: He produced some of Amy Winehouse’s 2006 album Back To Black, including the songs “Rehab” and “You Know I’m No Good.”
Ronson recalls the first time he met Winehouse, who died in 2011.
“She came to my studio one day. I was on … Mercer and Canal in downtown New York. We hung out, talked about music,” he says. “She was so magnetic, and just her energy — I just instantly liked her and I wanted to impress her, basically. I wanted to have a piece of music that would make her be like, ‘Wow, I want to work with this guy.'”
Mark Ronson is a music producer, DJ and guitarist who’s recorded with Adele, Paul McCartney, Ghostface Killah, Lily Allen and Duran Duran, among others. Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images hide caption
toggle caption Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images
Mark Ronson is a music producer, DJ and guitarist who’s recorded with Adele, Paul McCartney, Ghostface Killah, Lily Allen and Duran Duran, among others.
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images
Ronson grew up in the music world. His stepfather Mick Jones co-founded the band Foreigner, and wrote its hit “I Want To Know What Love Is” for Ronson’s mother.
Ronson was born in London, but his family moved to New York when he was 8. He says he was allowed to hang out in the studio with Foreigner, and that sometimes Jones would bounce ideas off of him. Jones would come home the same time Ronson was leaving for school.
“He’d play me the most recent mix of songs in the studio and ask for my input,” Ronson says. “And I don’t remember any of this happening, but he’d always tell me that I’d be like, in my little English schoolboy voice, ‘Well, I remember the bass was turned up slightly more on the mix from last week, and I thought that was good.’ … I was kind of destined to probably be a studio rat.”
On creating ‘Uptown Funk’
I think that where it came from and the initial birth of it — it did come out of a jam at Bruno’s studio. He was playing drums and Jeff Bhasker, who co-produced the record — that’s who’s on synths — and I was playing bass, and I think that that spirit, or at least the raucousness, of maybe that is in there. And then, yeah, like, along the way you fine-tune it because you’re thinking, “We need to turn this into a song.”
Bruno, I think, is probably one of the greatest hook writers of… certainly anyone I’ve ever worked with, if not this current generation of pop artists. Also, when you’re doing something that doesn’t sound like anything else on the radio at the time, you almost need to like, iron-clad it, to make sure it gets through.
You have to put these hooks in it. You’ve got to make sure you’ve got all that ear candy in it to get it through the gate.
On how stressful it was to come up with his guitar part for the song
One of the last things to happen was to get my guitar part, and I guess just the pressure of knowing that I still had to come up with something, to basically my end of the deal. … Bruno had done this great vocal, Jeff had all these great synth parts. And while we were doing the guitars, I had done 50, 60 takes of it, and I couldn’t get a part that I liked.
And we went out for lunch, and I sort of — I guess the pressure of this song and the guitar part — I fainted in the restaurant. And let’s just say I redecorated the walls in the bathroom of this nice restaurant and had to be carried out. … And, luckily, I went to Toronto two days later, because that’s where Bruno happened to be on tour … and I got it there. It just became easy. Maybe it was just psychological, getting out of home, whatever it was.
On meeting Amy Winehouse
Her first record had come out, and I just remember really liking this one song off it called “In My Bed” and being a little bit enamored. this young Jewish girl from North London — and I’m the same thing, from a Jewish family in North London. this incredible voice, so I said, “Yeah, I’ll meet her.”
To be honest, it wasn’t like I was some big shot. At that point, I was meeting with anybody who might want to work on music, because you never know where chemistry is going to come, or your break, or whatever it is.
On getting the retro-soul band The Dap-Kings to play on Winehouse’s album
I had started to use Dave Guy, the trumpet player, an incredible musician. I had started to work with him a little bit because I was making these demos of cover versions I did for my second album, Version. But I was doing all the tracks, and then we’d work out the horn arrangements together. So he came into the studio one day, and they had just cut a cover of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” for something with Sharon Jones, and I just was blown away by how they got that . I mean, it was just so much the real deal.
And at the time, Amy and I were working on demos for Back To Black, and I was probably using whatever computer trick I could. They have plug-ins for your computer that make things sound old or whatever it is, and I played Amy this recording of Sharon Jones. And I said, “How good is this? We should get these guys to play these demos.” And she’s like, “Yeah, yeah.” She would say, “It’s the nuts” if she thought something was really good — it was “the nuts.” So she said it was “the nuts” and we got the whole band, not just the horn section.
On writing ‘Rehab’ with Winehouse
She wrote “Back To Black” and “Rehab” while we were there in the studio, in like kind of a matter of hours. So when she was telling me this story about rehab — we were actually walking down the street and she was saying, “There was this time a couple of years ago, and I was in this dark place, and my family came over and some friends, and they tried to make me go to rehab, and I was like, ‘No, no, no.'” And she put up her hand, and I just thought, “That’s such a catchy turn of phrase, and should we go back — and do you want to try to write a song with that?” Because it just instantly sounded like a hook to me. I remember it so well. She was telling me this really deep story, and I’m kind of like, “Is it gross?” — all I can hear is a big pop hook in there.
On starting his career in music by DJing at clubs in New York
I started off DJing when I was 16. And I had two turntables and a handful of records, maybe 10 records, and I’d buy two copies of the same record, so I could practice scratching them and bringing the breaks back by emulating my favorite DJs on the radio, which were Stretch Armstrong and Funkmaster Flex, Red Alert. I would listen to their routines and try and copy in my best way what they were doing, because I didn’t really know anyone else who was a DJ, who could teach me or show me the stuff. And like anything in the beginning, you just play wherever you can. Someone’s doing a gig, they’ve got 20 bucks, you’re there with your whole speaker system and turntables. … You love this stuff so much, you just can’t wait to get out and do it, and you’re just like, “Any way that I can get discovered.” And then after a couple years of playing in clubs in downtown New York, people like Puffy and Guru and Premiere from Gang Starr and Biggie and Jay-Z and all these heroes of mine suddenly coming into these places where I’m DJing, and it was a thrill. And if you do a good job, there’s the chance they might remember who you are, and that happened with Puffy. And he started to book me for other gigs and later with Jay-Z, as well, so that’s how I started to make my name.
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“Uptown Funk” (stylised as “UpTown Funk!”) is a song recorded by British record producer Mark Ronson and American singer and songwriter Bruno Mars, for Ronson’s fourth studio album, Uptown Special (2015). RCA Records released the song as the album’s lead single on 10 November 2014. Jeff Bhasker assisted the artists in co-writing and co-producing the track, with additional writing from Philip Lawrence. This is Mars’ fourth collaboration with Ronson (following Mars’ own songs “Locked Out of Heaven”, “Moonshine”, and “Gorilla”) and sixth with Bhasker (after “Talking to the Moon”, “Young Girls” and the three previously mentioned songs).
The song went through many different incarnations, and was worked on for months. Ronson and Mars recorded it at multiple different locations worldwide, ranging from recording studios to dressing rooms. American bands Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings and Antibalas perform horn parts on the song, while the song’s lyrics interpolate a line from rapper Trinidad James’ song “All Gold Everything” (2012). Several music critics noted its similarity with popular music from the 1980s. The song features heavy inspiration from the Minneapolis sound of 1980s-era funk music, having a spirit akin to works by Prince as well as Morris Day and The Time. Copyright controversies arose after the song’s release, with multiple lawsuits and amendments to its songwriting credits.
“Uptown Funk” spent 14 consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, seven non-consecutive weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart, and topped the charts in several other countries including Australia, Canada, France, Ireland and New Zealand. It became the second best-selling single of 2015 and one of the best-selling of all-time. The song won two Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year. Its music video stars Ronson, Mars, and Mars’ backing band the Hooligans dancing in a city street, and accumulated 2.4 billion views on video sharing website YouTube as of May 2017, making it the fourth most viewed YouTube video of all time.
In 2012, Ronson produced songs for Bruno Mars’ second studio album Unorthodox Jukebox, including the singles “Locked Out of Heaven” and “Gorilla”. In June 2014, Ronson told Capital FM that he and Mars planned on working together again: “He’s had aTemplate:Sic incredible run and it was great to be able to work on that record with him and hopefully we’ll be making music for a while. amazing live show.” Ronson and Uptown Special co-producer Jeff Bhasker would set up shop whenever and wherever they found time with Mars, eventually recording in Los Angeles, Toronto, London, Vancouver, Memphis and New York City. Mars wound up playing drums throughout the album, as well as co-writing “Uptown Funk”. Part of the track was recorded at Cherry Beach Sound in Toronto.
On 9 October 2014, Mike Mullaney (Music Director/Assistant Program Director at CBS Radio/WBMX), listened to the song, which was sent to CBS Radio for testing, and called it “the greatest song of all time”. He added “The Ronson/Bruno tune is like JamesBrown/RickJames/TheTime jamming w/ badass brass band”, describing it as “Filthy, funky” and complementing Bruno’s vocals, “Bruno simply wails”.
In April 2015, it was revealed that a settlement had been reached with The Gap Band’s publishing company, Minder Music, to add core group members Charlie Wilson, Robert Wilson, Ronnie Wilson, keyboardist Rudolph Taylor and producer Lonnie Simmons as co-writers, due to the song’s similarities to “Oops Upside Your Head”, and that they would receive a 17% songwriting credit. Minder Music filed a claim into YouTube’s content management system, which prevented publishers from receiving their payment.
Ronson, in an interview granted to Digital Spy, confessed that the song was to be entitled “Don’t Believe me Just Watch”. The earlier version of the song had “an inexplicable hard-rock breakdown and a chorus, in which Bruno Mars shouted, “Burn this motherfucker down!”. They spent months working on the chorus until they came up the idea of not having one. The song almost didn’t see the light of the day due to its early versions.
Composition and influencesEdit
“Uptown Funk” is in the key of D Dorian with a time signature of Template:Time signature and has a tempo of 115 beats per minute. “Uptown Funk” is also heavily influenced by the Minneapolis sound of the early 1980s, pioneered by Prince, The Time with Morris Day, and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis with a touch of boogie of The Gap Band, and Zapp and a slight modern EDM twist. According to Ronson in Rolling Stone, the song “animates a Minneapolis groove.” According to Chris Molanphy of Slate, “Uptown Funk” is a “brazen return to the electro-funk of the early ’80s.”
Charles Moniz, one of the several engineers of the song, said that he helped with the “doh” vocal bass line on the track. Philip Lawrence said they needed an opening bassline, however Lawrence couldn’t play the bass. Moniz told him to sing it. “That became what stayed on the album”, according to Moniz. The team had been stuck on the chorus for a while, came offstage after a show one night and proclaimed: “I got it”. Some of the track progressive phases were done on “makeshift studios” set up by Moniz in dressing rooms.
Nick Murray of Rolling Stone was positive, giving the song a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, praising “some George Kranz scatting and a Nile Rodgers guitar riff.” He also wrote that Mars, Ronson and The Hooligans “channel the days when brags weren’t humble and disco wasn’t retro.” Brennan Carley of Spin Magazine noted that “Mars sounds a bit like Nelly on the track, sing-rapping his way through goofy lyrics (“Got Chucks on / With Saint Laurent / Gotta kiss myself / So pretty”)”, while comparing the bass line to something “taken straight from Prince’s playbook.” He added that “It’s a definite step towards more classic funk for Ronson, who has a history of dabbling in heavy horn sections and walking guitar solos.” He finished by saying “Mars’ voice keeps things light and bubbly though, making ‘Uptown Funk’ the kind of song you’ll be unable to escape on the radio in a matter of days.” Lucas Villa of AXS called Ronson “eternally cool” and added that the producer’s “latest foray into ‘Funk’ is definitely his freakiest, freshest and most fun release yet.”
In a mixed review for the parent album Uptown Special, Jim Farber from the New York Daily News gave an overrall 3/5 rating and claimed that Ronson “just got lucky.” He particularly criticized “Uptown Funk” for being a “lazy track”, unlike the rest of the songs, which “obsess on the past, but most enliven it.” Similarly, in Andy Kellman’s Allmusic review for the album, he criticized the song as “aiming for early Time and landing closer to a second-tier trifle — One Way’s “Let’s Talk,” for instance”.
In January 2015, “Uptown Funk” was ranked at number 23, tied with Meghan TrainorTemplate:’s “All About That Bass” on The Village VoiceTemplate:’s annual year-end Pazz & Jop critics’ poll. The same critics’ poll ranked “Uptown Funk” at number eight the following year. Later the same month, the song was voted into Triple J’s Hottest 100 at number 6.
Ronson won two Grammy Awards in February 2016, including Record Of The Year for “Uptown Funk.”
The song is reported to earn $100,000 for the label and composers per week for streaming on Spotify alone and has more than two billion completed views on YouTube. The song sold over 20.0 million units as of 2015.
On 29 November 2014, “Uptown Funk” debuted at number 63 on the Canadian Hot 100. On the issue dated 10 January 2015, the song reached number one, a position it has held for fifteen consecutive weeks, becoming the second longest-running number-one single on the Canadian Hot 100, only behind The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling”, which spent sixteen weeks at number one. On the issue dated 25 April 2015, after fifteen weeks at number one, it was replaced by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s “See You Again”.
In Ireland, “Uptown Funk” debuted at number two on 12 December 2014, and the following week peaked at the top of the Irish Singles Chart, taking the Christmas number one spot. In doing this, it became the first song not released by The X Factor winner to reach this position in nine years.
It spent seven weeks at number one in the Irish Charts, before being knocked off the top by Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do”.
Following a September 2014 cover by Fleur East on The X Factor reaching number one on iTunes, “Uptown Funk” was released, with its release date being brought forward by five weeks. It debuted at number one in the United Kingdom with first-week chart sales of 118,000. This gave Ronson his first UK number one as either a producer or artist. The next week, despite selling over 181,000 copies, “Uptown Funk” fell to number two, being denied the coveted Christmas number one by The X Factor winner Ben Haenow’s winner’s single, “Something I Need”. In that same week, “Uptown Funk” made UK chart history by being the first single to be streamed more than 2 million times in a single week, being streamed a total of 2.34 million times. In doing so, the single took the title of being the all-time most streamed track in a single week, replacing Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”. The following week, “Uptown Funk” returned to number one and improved on its streaming record, being streamed 2.49 million times. It spent seven non-consecutive weeks at number one, before finally being knocked off the top on 8 February 2015 by Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do”, which also broke its streaming record for a single week.
The song was certified a ‘million-seller’ by the Official Charts Company in February 2015, just seven weeks after its release. In May 2015, the song became only the third song released during the 21st century to be certified 3× Platinum. It had combined sales of over 2 million as of October 2015 (1.47 million purchases and 60 million streams).
“Uptown Funk” was the best-selling song of 2015 in the UK, with combined sales of 1.76 million during the year (total 2.3 million). On 10 June 2016, “Uptown Funk” became only the second single of the 21st century to go 4× Platinum, after “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.
On the Billboard Hot 100, the song debuted at number 65 on the week-ending 21 November 2014 due to digital downloads sold, making it Ronson’s first entry on the Hot 100. During its second week, “Uptown Funk” sold 110,000 digital copies, becoming the Hot 100’s top Digital Gainer of the week, and nearing Streaming Songs with a gain of 2.5 million US streams. The song rose to number 18 in its second week on the Hot 100. On its third week the song rose to number eight, after its first full seven-day tracking period after the premiere of the music video, with 4.4 million streams, digital sales of 167,000 copies and debuting at Radio Songs at number 46 (28 million audience). At this point, the song became Ronson’s first top 10 as an artist (and in his first visit with such a billing) and his third top 10 as a producer (Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” (No. 9, 2007) and Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven” (No. 1, 2012–13). On its fourth week, the song reached number five. This marked Mars’ eleventh top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. On its fifth week, it reached a new peak of number 3, where it stayed for two weeks. The song claimed the Hot 100’s three top Gainer awards (Digital, Streaming, Airplay), making it just the fifth title to sweep all three categories in the nearly three years of their side-by-side existence, and making Ronson the first male soloist to top Digital Songs with a debut chart entry (as a lead) since Sam Smith’s “Stay with Me”. The next week the song climbed to number two. The following week, “Uptown Funk” topped the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Ronson’s first number-one single in the country and Mars’ sixth. The song crowned the three major component songs charts (Digital Songs, Streaming Songs and Radio Songs) on the Billboard Hot 100. It also marked Ronson’s first single to reach number one in radio songs; for Mars, it became his sixth, reaching fifth among acts with the most number-ones in that area.
The song became the first to crown the Hot 100 and its three main component charts for nine weeks (the previous record was held by Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass”, which did so for two weeks). By spending a seventh week at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, it became Mars’ longest command at the top position (among his six number-ones). It also became one of the longest running singles in Billboard’s Hot 100 history and also the longest-running number-one single of the 2010s decade, by topping the chart for 14 consecutive weeks, also becoming the joint second-longest number-one single in Billboard history. This surpassed the previous record set by Robin Thicke with his 2013 single “Blurred Lines”, featuring Pharrell Williams and T.I., which reigned at number one for 12 weeks. After its fourteenth week, it was replaced by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s “See You Again”. The song stayed in the top three of the Billboard Hot 100 for 21 weeks, a record previously owned by “Smooth” by Santana and Rob Thomas. On 5 June, “Uptown Funk” spent a 25th consecutive week inside the US top 5, equalling the all-time record set by LeAnn Rimes with “How Do I Live” in 1997 (this was surpassed on March 11, 2017 when “Closer by The Chainsmokers and Halsey ranked in the top five for a twenty-sixth nonconsecutive week). “Uptown Funk” spent 31 weeks in the top-10, with the run ending in the issue dated 11 July 2015, the longest-running top-10 single after aforementioned “How Do I Live” as well as “Closer.” As of June 2015, “Uptown Funk” has sold 6.1 million copies in the United States.Template:Better source
The music video was released on 17 November 2014. It stars Mars, Ronson and the Hooligans walking around a city, wearing brightly colored suits and chains. On 19 November, it was released on Vevo and YouTube. It was directed by Bruno Mars and Cameron Duddy. In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres on the Ellen Show, Ronson and Mars stated that it had been filmed in many cities where Mars was touring. Parts were also filmed at 20th Century Fox Studio’s “New York street” backlot in Los Angeles, California. The video has over 2.40 billion views on video sharing website YouTube as of May 2017, making it the fourth most viewed YouTube video of all time.
Usage in media and remixesEdit
The first of the two remixes was released on 12 February 2015 during Ronson’s interview on Hot 97 featuring Mars and a new intro verse by rapper Action Bronson. Ronson also revealed that the final version included rapper Bodega Bamz. The second remix of the song featuring Mars and an intro verse by rapper Trinidad James. It was released by Billboard and uploaded on Bruno Mars’ YouTube account on 13 March 2015. Fleur East covered the song the eleventh series of the The X Factor UK prior to the single’s official release. East later included her live performance of the song on her debut album Love, Sax and Flashbacks.
Within the UK, a (somewhat humorous) claim has circulated that the song is based on the theme to The Really Wild Show, a BBC children’s nature programme.Template:Efn
Copyright controversies and accusationsEdit
Copyright controversies about “Uptown Funk” have dogged Ronson and Mars, with The Gap Band’s three core members being added on as songwriters as part of a mutually settled agreement given the inspiration given to the track by “Oops! Upside Your Head”. Serbian pop artist Viktorija has also argued that “Uptown Funk” infringed on her track “Ulice Mracne Nisu Za Devojke”. A third accusation was made by funk group Collage that released music in the early 1980s. The group sued Ronsons and Mars for alleged copyright infringement, claiming “Uptown Funk” and its own 1983 song “Young Girls” are “almost indistinguishable”.
- Digital download
- “Uptown Funk” Template:Small – 4:30
- CD single
- “Uptown Funk” Template:Small – 4:30
- “Feel Right” Template:Small – 3:42
- 12″ vinyl
A. “Uptown Funk” – 4:30 B. “Uptown Funk” (BB Disco Dub Mix) Remixed by Benji B – 6:19
- Remixes – EPTemplate:Citation needed
Credits and personnelEdit
Recording Recorded at: Cherry Beach Sound in Toronto, Ontario; Royal Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, Daptone Records, Brooklyn, New York; Electric Lady Studios, New York; Zelig Sound, London, UK; Enormous Studios, Venice, California; mixed at Mixstar Studios in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Horn Section Although several recorded horn sections were used during the recording process, it was noted in magazine Billboard in November 2014, that Ronson engaged Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings and Antibalas horns for the final rendering of the track. The horn parts were recorded at Daptone Records in Brooklyn, New York in August 2014. Members of this horn section were reflected in the Saturday Night Live performance of “Uptown Funk” and have been reported in sources such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, and more.
Antibalas and The Hooligans Horn Section Template:Col-begin Template:Col-2
- Trumpet – David Guy, Michael Leonhart, Jimmy King
- Tenor Saxophone – Neal Sugarman, Dwayne Dagger
- Trombone – Raymond James Mason, Kameron Whalum
- Baritone Saxophone – Ian Hendrickson-Smith
Personnel Template:Col-begin Template:Col-2
- Songwriting – Mark Ronson, Philip Lawrence, Jeff Bhasker, Bruno Mars
- Production – Mark Ronson, Jeff Bhasker, Bruno Mars
- Mixing – Serban Ghenea
- Assisted – John Hanes
- Engineering – Boo Mitchell, Charles Moniz, Inaam Haq, Josh Blair, Mark Ronson, Wayne Gordon
- Additional – Devin Nakao, Ken Lewis, Matthew Stevens, Riccardo Damian
- Mastering – Tom Coyne
- Programming – Mark Ronson
- Bass – Jamareo Artis
- Drums – Bruno Mars
- Linn Drums – Mark Ronson
- Keyboards – Jeff Bhasker
- Additional – Phredley Brown
- Guitars – Mark Ronson
- Vocals – Bruno Mars
- Talkbox – Jeff Bhasker
|Chart (2014–15)|| Peak
|Argentina (Monitor Latino)||16|
|Australia Urban (ARIA)||1|
|Brazil (Billboard Brasil Hot 100)||32|
|Colombia (National Report Top Anglo)||1|
|Lebanon (Lebanese Top 20)||1|
|South Korea Chart (Gaon)||4|
|South Korea International Chart (Gaon)||1|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||35|
|Australia Urban (ARIA)||14|
|Israel (Media Forest)||45|
|US Billboard Hot 100||12|
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|Australia||10 November 2014||Template:Hlist||rowspan=”7″ Template:N/A|
|11 November 2014||Contemporary hit radio||Template:Hlist|
|Italy||14 November 2014||Sony|
|United Kingdom||8 December 2014||Digital download||Columbia|
|Germany||9 January 2015||CD single||Sony|
|United Kingdom||16 February 2015||12″||Columbia|
|United States||17 February 2015||88875069571|
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